Key Employment Law Changes: April 2020

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09 April, 2020

Ella Dudley

As a reminder there are several employment law changes that came into force on 6 April 2020 - we summarise these below.

The Government's Good Work Plan

  • Written statement of terms: workers rather than just employees now have the right to a written statement of particulars, which sets out certain prescribed information about the terms and conditions of their engagement with the employer. This must be provided on the first day of their employment or earlier. There are no exceptions to this rule and if a statement is not provided, workers could bring a claim against their employer to a tribunal.
  • Calculating holiday pay: the reference period for determining an average week's pay for the purpose of holiday pay is changing from 12 weeks to 52 weeks, or the number of complete weeks for which the worker has been employed (if less). Employers should ensure that their payroll teams are aware of the changes and use the new 52 week reference period moving forwards.
  • Agency workers: The Swedish derogation provisions have been removed from the Agency Worker Regulations 2010 meaning that now all agency workers have a right to pay parity with comparable permanent staff after 12 weeks. In addition, all agency work-seekers must be provided with a key facts statement setting out the terms under which they will undertake work.

Employment Tribunals

  • There has been an increase in the limits on the amount of awards payable in employment tribunals and other amounts payable under employment legislation. In cases involving dismissal, the new figures will apply where the effective date of termination falls on or after 6 April 2020.
  • The amounts payable under employment legislation that have increased include the following:
    - Maximum limit on a week's pay: increased from £525 to £538
    - Maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal: increased from £86,444 to £88,519
    - Minimum basic award for certain unfair dismissals (dismissal for reason of trade union membership or activities, health and safety duties, pension scheme trustee duties, or acting as an employee representative or workforce representative): increased from £6,408 to £6,562.

Increase of Statutory Sick Pay/Maternity Pay/Paternity Pay, Adoption and Shared Parental Pay

  • The rate of statutory sick pay, and statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay increased from 6 April 2020. Statutory sick pay has increased from £94.25 per week to £95.85, and the statutory rate of maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay has increased from £148.68 to £151.20 per week.

New Statutory Rights to Parental Bereavement Leave & Pay

  • A new statutory right for employees to take one or two weeks off work following the death of a child under 18 or a still birth (after 24 weeks of pregnancy) came into force on 6 April 2020. The right applies irrespective of the parent's length of service with their employer.
  • This will apply where the child's date of death is on or after 6 April 2020. The leave can be taken in one single two week block, or as two separate blocks of one week.
  • Employees with at least 26 weeks service, who meet the minimum earnings criteria, will also qualify for statutory parental bereavement pay (at the same rate as statutory paternity pay).

If you have any queries arising as a result of this briefing, or require any advice on the changes, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the Employment Team.

For more information contact Ella Dudley in our Employment & HR department via email or phone on 0333 207 1160. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

Learn more about our Employment & HR department here

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